Contest! Guess the day that gas will hit $4 $2 $1 per gallon in Northfield

suv-econ-gas-pump.jpg.w300h294 The AP has this story posted this aft: Gasoline prices hit national average of $4 for the first time, expected to go higher.

Rather than a straw poll, let’s have a contest for guessing the day that a gallon of regular gas hits $4 right here in river city.

Attach a comment with the date of your guess. Use the format of month/day, eg: June 8.

Contest closes at 6:15 am on Tuesday, June. 10, which is about the time that I boot up my computer at a local coffeeshop. Only one entry per person, please. You may guess the same day as someone else.

Winner(s) will have their name and photo blogged on LG and mentioned on our podcast.  If you’re cute a nice person, I might invite you to coffee.

Update Oct. 26: New contest since the price today is $2.38 and continuing to fall.

Update Nov. 23: New contest since the price today is $1.68 and continuing to fall.

69 Comments

  1. My guess is Friday the 13th (of June). Seems appropriate. Oh, the unlucky, horror of Friday the 13th!
    I have been refueling when the tank is about half full. Then, when I see the price I must pay, I pretend that I am filling up as I used to. It is not as startling that way. And I can feel somewhat smug when the price goes up 10 cents a gallon the next day. But I am starting to feel compelled to buy more gas the day after I have bought gas, before prices go up again.
    Waaaah!

    June 8, 2008
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  2. John S. Thomas said:

    With the Friday nightmare, I would say Tuesday morning, depending on how the market reacts in the morning.

    June 8, 2008
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  3. John S. Thomas said:

    To make it official. Tuesday, June 10th, 2008.

    June 8, 2008
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  4. Patrick Enders said:

    How ’bout this: $5 a gallon on Aug 8.

    Oh, and $4 on Thurs June 12.

    June 9, 2008
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  5. kiffi summa said:

    Susan has gotten it correct, first, I think … Friday, June 13, 2008.

    June 9, 2008
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  6. Scott Oney said:

    This sounds like fun, but isn’t it a bit like rooting for the home team to lose? How about a pool for when we can drill in the Gulf of Mexico or ANWR? That’s a change I could believe in!

    June 9, 2008
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  7. David Henson said:

    $2.50 on Nov 1st

    June 9, 2008
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  8. Patrick Enders said:

    Scott Oney wrote

    This sounds like fun, but isn’t it a bit like rooting for the home team to lose?

    Nah. It’s just embracing the future. It will happen whether we will it so or not, so we might as well pretend to enjoy it.

    How about a pool for when we can drill in the Gulf of Mexico or ANWR? That’s a change I could believe in!

    Unfortunately, that’d only be a drop in the bucket. If you want to significantly change the price of gas, you’ll have to convince China and India (and a whole lot of the rest of the world) to go back to their old agrarian ways.

    The only real solutions are alternative energy sources, and controlling consumption.

    June 9, 2008
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  9. Patrick Enders said:

    Oh and:

    A coworker of mine – who has a particularly long commute due to family circumstances – just bought a hybrid Civic to drive instead of his Forester (or some such thing).

    Cut his daily gasoline bill from $30 to $12.

    June 9, 2008
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  10. John S. Thomas said:

    I still think I am in the running…

    As we left St. Paul at 3:30, gas prices jumped from 3.89 to $4.09 at Holiday, Marathon, and SuperAmerica.

    I would be willing to bet we see the bounce later tonight or tomorrow.

    Oil was only down $3.54 today to $135.00 according to Bloomberg.

    June 9, 2008
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  11. I’m with John Thomas–in spite of today’s drop in oil prices (bouncing back up a bit in after-hours electronic trading, though), gas could well pop over $4.00 locally tomorrow (June 10th).

    I like Patrick’s prediction of $5/gallon on August 8th or so, as well. Could be sooner if there’s a terrorist attack on Saudi oil facilities (or one of a bazillion other unseemly yet not-unlikely other random acts of humankind and/or Mother Nature, such as a major early-season hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico). Could be later if our economy completely tanks over the next few months, decreasing US demand.

    I’m one of those contrarians who has thought for years that gas/diesel is way too cheap. I give a little cheer every time I see the price rise at Northfield Amcon or Holiday, whether I’m biking past or driving past. (People, WAKE UP!) We haven’t been paying the freight (at the pump) for our long-term, humongously expensive military presence in the Persian Gulf/Middle East to ensure the free flow of oil from that vital oil-producing region, or for the tremendous air pollution/health effects/global climate impact of our insatiable thirst for oil. I would certainly want to see some protection for lower income folks who would be truly hurt by significantly higher fuel prices (and are already being hurt now), but we need to face up to the fact that our love affair with a petroleum-fueled party lifestyle can simply not be sustained. Significantly igher prices seem to be the only thing that gets most people’s attention.

    I also agree with Patrick that drilling in ANWR or the Gulf of Mexico would not materially affect gas prices, short or long-term. That would be a change that would make me tear my hair out: short-sighted environmentally damaging action that would provide a trivial amount of oil in the grand scheme of things. Anything that could be produced in ANWR or the Gulf (even if it turns out to be billions of barrels, beginning perhaps 10 or 15 years from now even if a crash program were to be implemented tomorrow) would be a relative drop in the bucket when the world is guzzling 85 million barrels of oil a day. As Patrick said, the only real, sustainable solution is reduced demand, and a rapid move away from a petroleum-based transportation system.

    In another thread here on Locally Grown, Howard Merriam recommends Bill McKibbens’ book “Deep Economy.” I’ll second that recommendation here, and also suggest both “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler and “World Made by Hand,” a new novel by Kunstler that paints a sobering, poignant fictional picture of a future we might be living sooner rather than later if we don’t change our ways. Enough for this rant.

    June 9, 2008
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  12. Felicity Enders said:

    If we’re talking about regular unleaded, my guess is Friday, July 4. If we’re talking about the first time ANY non-diesel gas hits $4 in Northfield, I’ll go with Friday, June 13.

    June 9, 2008
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  13. David Henson said:

    1) The types of comments seen here were very common in 1973 but I do remember a few economists explaining the despite blips here and there that over time all commodities/resources fall in price – which gas did then. And will likely do again.

    2) The Arabs (and the oil companies) have a long history of running the price up to gouge a little and then down to wipe out alternative fuel investments.

    3) The auto is highly inefficient in the human death toll which should be the reason for a new system no matter what the cost of fuel.

    June 9, 2008
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  14. John S. Thomas said:

    Big Steer @ $3.99 this morning…

    June 10, 2008
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  15. Anne Bretts said:

    John, I think you nailed it. My friend called on her way home from work in Lakeville last night and it was over $4 there. Given your observation this morning, it seems you should be the winner by the time you get home from work today.
    Drinks are on me, though hard to tell whether it would be a celebration or just drowning our sorrows.

    June 10, 2008
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  16. John S. Thomas said:

    According to SuperAmerica and MinnesotaGasPrices.com, the price has NOT moved this morning. It has not changed since Friday, when it went up 12 cents.

    Oil was up $2.14 to $133.45 yesterday, so the large Friday jump has not really given back anything.

    I am actually quite amazed that the prices have not moved yet, especially with the movement in the cities.

    Could it be that the stations are awaiting deliveries today that will raise the price?

    June 11, 2008
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  17. Curt Benson said:

    Hey, John Thomas, I noted your name in the “Names to Note” in the News this am. Graduating summa cum laude. Kudos to you.

    June 11, 2008
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  18. Anne Bretts said:

    Yes, John, congratulations! What an amazing achievement. Husband, dad, full-time worker, commuter, community volunteer, blog commenter, gas price monitor. Do you sleep at all?

    June 11, 2008
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  19. John S. Thomas said:

    Thanks Curt… and no Anne, I usually don’t get more than 5 hours a night.

    I am starting my Masters in 3 weeks. Life is too short to sleep through it I guess. 😎

    Also, its 10 AM, and the gas prices haven’t moved. I find this REALLY odd… Anyone know when these stations get thier usual deliveries?

    June 11, 2008
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  20. Patrick Enders said:

    Well, John is out of the running, and we’re $0.11 and a few hours from my guess being disqualified.

    Will Susan and Kiffi get it right?

    June 12, 2008
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  21. Griff Wigley said:

    I filled up at Witt’s Auto Repair yesterday. Mark Witt told me he’d give me the “media discount” price: $2.049. Wow. Nearly 16 gallons for only $32.50!!

    Witt's Auto Repair Witt's Auto Repair

    June 13, 2008
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  22. Patrick Enders said:

    Is he one of those providers whose meters can’t go up to $4.00, so they have to sell half-gallons? If so, when did he top $2 a half-gallon – yesterday by any chance?

    I wouldn’t say no to a post-dated win.

    June 13, 2008
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  23. Griff Wigley said:

    Patrick, they went over the $4/gallon mark over a week ago but those pumps are full-serve so technically, they don’t count.

    June 14, 2008
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  24. Griff Wigley said:

    Time for a new round of guesses on when a Northfield station will charge $4 or more for a gallon of self-serve reg. Deadline is Tues, June 24, 6:15 am.

    June 20, 2008
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  25. Well, my Friday the 13th guess didn’t pan out and the price has been stuck at $3.89 for a week. I will now guess June 30th, the exact three-year anniversary date of the Northfield Entertainment Guide. Happy anniversary, Rob & Co.!

    June 20, 2008
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  26. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ll guess July 3, just in time for the holiday weekend.

    June 23, 2008
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  27. Britt Ackerman said:

    OK, I’ll bite…

    If Obama is elected on November 4, then gas will top $4 a gallon here on November 10.

    If McCain is elected on November 3, gas won’t top $4 a gallon until after Jan 1, 2009. I’ll go with January 21st, just cause it’s my birthday so that would be just my luck.

    June 23, 2008
    Reply
  28. Randy Jennings said:

    I was in Norway last week, where my wife and I rented a tiny car for a driving trip around the Sognfjord. To put your $4-per-gallon question in perspective, we paid the equivalent of $9.95 per gallon (about 13.5 kroner per liter). This is one of the most stable oil-producing countries.

    In Oslo there is a fabulous public transportation system. Expensive to use, but fast, quiet, and convenient. I say let’s get gas prices up to the levels people pay in Europe (and have been paying for years and years), and maybe we can generate the will to fully develop a decent public transportation system here.

    June 24, 2008
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  29. It’s been above $4/gal for at least two weeks out here in Delaware! $4.04, $4.07, though there was one place downstate over the weekend at $3.94 with a line, a big line, waiting.

    June 24, 2008
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  30. David Henson said:

    Griff – Can I gloat on LG ? Gas = $2.24 gal, see post #8

    October 26, 2008
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  31. Griff Wigley said:

    You rock, David. Was that an educated guess or just dumb luck? 😉

    October 26, 2008
    Reply
  32. Griff Wigley said:

    Time for a new contest: Guess when the price will hit $2/gallon here in Northfield! (Blog post title updated)

    October 26, 2008
    Reply
  33. About the same time the Dow drops below 5,000. Then we can REALLY celebrate!

    October 26, 2008
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  34. David Henson said:

    Griff – Oil is in a free fall (and if the oil barons want to keep their cash flowing, and they do !, they will have to pump more while telling their OPEC friends they are pumping less) so $2.00 is probably a given – be bold and ask when the price will hit $1.00 ? The war is the wild card that drove oil futures up. The increasing demand from China etc was a nonstarter argument. Now global demand is way off so the price drop maybe very dramatic (do I hear 0.75 ?)

    October 26, 2008
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  35. I say $2.00 on Nov 11.

    I say $1.00 never, so long as we deal with OPEC.

    October 26, 2008
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  36. Patrick Enders said:

    $1.99 9/10 on the morning after we elect our next President.

    October 26, 2008
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  37. Peter Millin said:

    Again i am confused. Three month ago I heard that the high price of gasoline is the fault of oil companies, because they are manipulating the market?
    We even discussed the possibility to go after OPEC…I guess all is well now?

    October 27, 2008
    Reply
  38. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter,
    Maybe their scheme wasn’t sustainable?

    It’s basic capitalism: with the economy tanking, demand drops. When demand drops, price drops.

    I think the futures/speculation market fits into it as well, but I don’t pretend to understand the less concrete aspects of economics.

    October 27, 2008
    Reply
  39. Peter Millin said:

    Future speculation is always is part of it, but it works on it’s way up and on it’s way down.

    I am sure quiet a few people have lost their shirts in oil futures…maybe we should bail them out 🙂

    October 27, 2008
    Reply
  40. Jerold Friedman said:

    Patrick: Close guess. I’ve seen it $2.069 in Northfield, but Farmington is already down to $1.959!

    I’m still sticking with my guess of $1.999/gallon on 11/11. I’m looking forward to the coffee invite.

    November 7, 2008
    Reply
  41. Patrick Enders said:

    I paid <$2 a gallon for gas yesterday in Lakeville. I didn’t leave Northfield Wednesday, so I don’t know exactly when it dropped below the $2 mark up there.

    I guess I need to remember that things move slower here in Northfield.

    November 7, 2008
    Reply
  42. Bruce Anderson said:

    Lest anyone feel too celebratory about the price of gas plummeting, bear in mind that this has happened for one primary reason: the market is betting that the global economy is in the toilet for the foreseeable future, and that global demand for petroleum products will likewise be low. If and when the global economy turns around, look out. We’d better be ready for skyrocketing gas prices again.

    Fool me once (1973-74), shame on you. Fool me twice (1979-80), well shame on you again because this is America, dammit. Fool me three times (2006-2008), well whatthe$#&*?!? You mean I can’t keep partying like it’s 1999? Fool me four times (2009?)…

    November 7, 2008
    Reply
  43. Patrick Enders said:

    Bruce,
    I agree with your assessment. I’m just hoping our current 32-36mpg cars hold out until an affordable, practical 40 mile electric-only-range vehicle is available.

    I’d love to further decrease my driving, but unfortuantely I am contracted to provide services in two locations, 20 miles apart – that are not connected by timely public transportation.

    November 7, 2008
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  44. Jerold Friedman said:

    I’m eagerly waiting for the Chevy Volt. It has a 40-mile electric motor range and a combustion engine only for longer trips. If your range is 20 miles round-trip, you won’t need gas.

    Chevy Volt is designed to move more than 75 percent of America’s daily commuters without a single drop of gas. That means for someone who drives less than 40 miles a day, Chevy Volt will use zero gasoline and produce zero emissions. […] And when it comes to being plugged in, Chevy Volt will be designed to use a common household plug.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/

    November 7, 2008
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  45. Peter Millin said:

    Let’s hope GM stays in business long enough to actually get the Volt of the assembly line.

    If we are pinning our hopes on electricity we better agree quickly on how to produce it. Solar and wind alone won’t be enough.

    Nuclear is not an option and coal will be forced out of business soon.

    November 7, 2008
    Reply
  46. patrick enders said:

    Jerold,
    Yes, the Volt is the kind of thing I’m thinking about – although its projected sticker price keeps creeping upward.

    As for the source of electricity, I’m going with clean, pollution-free cold fusion.

    November 7, 2008
    Reply
  47. patrick enders said:

    Jerold,
    Incidentally, thanks for the link to the Volt site. The last time I had looked at images of the Volt, they were – i guess – pictures of the very sporty (but not very practical)-looking Volt concept car.

    The new pictures of a sedan look like a vehicle that would actually serve most of our needs.

    November 7, 2008
    Reply
  48. Jerold Friedman said:

    Definitely. I remember to old pics too and I think that car was smaller than a small Porsche. The newer pics look great. I drive a Honda Insight, which is smaller than a Porsche, and I’m so ready for a 4-seat car!

    November 7, 2008
    Reply

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